Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some Party Pics

So Elijah had is big bash today. The theme..."Costume Party" It was a blast. I didn't take too many pictures because I was very busy with all the kiddos. But here are a few. Elijah said later on in the day "wow Mom that was the best party ever, you always make it fun" I'll be tucking that in my treasure box for sure.

Elijah went as Optimus Prime, and Isaiah as Bumble Bee (Transformers for those of you who don't know)
I went as a banana. It was a big hit with the kids

My boys talking with their friend the pirate
The kids coloring their masks.

The little horses!

Make a wish!
I accidentally bought those candles that keep relighting. Elijah kept blowing and blowing and they kept relighting. So I helped him out. He turned to me and said "Phew thanks mom"

Happy 5th Birthday Day Elijah!

First I just have to say how adorable Elijah is. I just can't get enough of him! So 5 years ago today we welcomed Elijah into our family. From the that first day Elijah has brought such joy into our lives. Elijah loves to hear the story of the day he was born. So I will share the shortened version with you today.

It was a Saturday, and there was a snow in the forecast. I knew I was in labor that morning but it was really easy and not at all painful. I took my time, taking a shower, doing my hair, eating a good breakfast. I called our friends who offered to take Isaiah that we might be dropping him off. About 9:30 we decided to head to the hospital. We were all checked in by 10:15. Peter and I walked the halls and joked how mild the contractions were. About 11:00 I got back into my bed and my midwife suggested some medication to help make the contractions stronger. That wasn't needed because it happened on it's own. Just before noon we had our new son. We had debated on the name Peter wanted Micah, I wanted Elijah. While Peter was holding him I said "how is he?" and Peter responded "He looks like an Elijah" and so it was settled. It was snowing by that point and it was beautiful.

The name Elijah means "The God is the LORD" and that has been our prayer for Elijah. That he would know the true and living God as his Lord.

Elijah has grown into the most amazing kid. He has the silliest sense of humor. He is the ultimate cuddlier. He is such a faithful friend to his brother. He is truly a joy to have. I am so thankful that the Lord has given him to us.

Happy Birthday Big Boy! We love you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Made in His Image

Baby at 7 weeks
I read this article in the recent issue of Institute for Creation Research. I was really blessed by it. It is humbling to realize that the little life growing inside of me is just that, life, his or her own individual life. I think I have even said "I am growing a little one" but in reality God has designed this baby to grow itself. AWESOME!

Made in His Image: Human Gestationby Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D.

Admittedly the prospect of pregnancy only applies to half of humanity, but the other half should find the process equally astounding. The real star of the show, however, is the developing baby, who was once viewed as a passive object being built by the mother's body. Nothing could be further from the truth. In terms of guiding implantation into the uterus all the way to breastfeeding, it is the baby/placenta unit that is the dynamic force in the orchestration of its own destiny.
The baby is a completely new individual, with unique genetic material that expresses foreign markers on his cells that are not recognized as "self" by the mother. The mother's immune system should destroy the new baby's first cells within just a few cell divisions, but substances secreted by the placenta and baby promote a complex suppression of the maternal immune response only within the implantation site of the uterus. The placental tissue that touches the uterus has decreased expression of markers that would provoke an immune response, and the mother's body therefore accepts it. Without this immunological acceptance, no baby would ever survive. And if the suppression of the mother's immune system were not localized, her health could be compromised. The maternal immune system helps control implantation of the embryo at just the right depth into the uterus. Without this exact balance of immune responses, the developing placenta could invade tissue all the way through the uterus and be fatal to the mother.
The mother's body is now under the control of a new person. A hormone produced by the baby's earliest cells travels in the mother's blood stream back to her ovary, causing a part of it to produce progesterone, the very important hormone that will calm uterine contractions and maintain the pregnancy. Later, the placenta will produce progesterone at even higher concentrations. Other hormones produced by the baby induce adaptations in the mother's body that are absolutely necessary for the baby's survival. These changes include a sizable expansion of the mother's blood volume, an increase in cardiac output, agents to modulate blood pressure, increases in blood flow to the kidneys, and cranking up the mother’s metabolism. The placenta also extracts nutrients from maternal circulation so efficiently that the baby's needs are met first, then the mother's.
In the last weeks of pregnancy, estrogen produced by the baby reaches its highest levels in the mother's blood. This causes abundant receptors for the hormone oxytocin to form on the uterus' muscle cells, and slowly opposes progesterone's quieting influence. At term, certain cells of the baby produce oxytocin, a powerful uterine muscle stimulant. Since the uterus is now highly sensitive to oxytocin, labor begins. As the baby descends, a pressure sensor in the birth canal sends a signal to the mother's brain and triggers her body to produce even more oxytocin--which causes stronger uterine contractions. The placenta produces the hormone relaxin, causing pelvic ligaments and the skin of the birth canal to relax, widen, and become more flexible. This increased motility allows a birth passage for the baby. And while in the womb, the baby made hormones that helped prepare the mother's breasts to produce milk. After delivery, newborn suckling induces episodic oxytocin secretion by the mother, which acts on breast ducts to cause milk let-down.
So it is the mother who is essentially passive, responding to signals emanating from the baby--even at times to her own detriment. Scientific research has shown that while the woman's reproductive organs and body are indispensable, they are not enough; it takes a baby to make a baby. The evidence is pretty compelling against speculations regarding a step-by-step evolutionary process leading to the complex systems that produce a baby. These systems were placed by the Lord Jesus in the first mother, Eve, fully functional right from the beginning.

Friday, February 6, 2009

100 days of homeschool

Last friday we hit out 100 day of homeschool!

WOOOO HOOO we did it. We made it to our 100 day of homeschool!

I got the boys a special suprise to celebrate the day.
"Space Buddies" Isaiah said "no way did you really get this for us?" and Elijah said "wow mom you are so kind" Too cute!

Bread Making 101

On Wednesday the boys and I went to a bread making class. Isaiah loved it. Elijah...well he didn't like how loud the grinder was so he didn't really want to participate. We learned about grinding whole grains into flour, what yeast does and why homemade bread is really good for you.

We used 100% whole wheat flour that we ground in the mill. You can use other flours as well or mix white with wheat etc. 2 1/2 c hot water1 egg1/3 cup oil1/3 cup honey1T salt mix I used the kitchen aid then add about 5 c flour and 1/4 c yeast Mix well then add flour until doughy not to dry , sticky to the touch knead well I used the kitchen aid again for about 10 min with dough hook attachment. Place in 2 loaf pans Cover with hot towel for about 15 min bake for 30 hr.

Grains ready to be made into flour!
Isaiah making flour from whole grains.


Kneading the dough

Putting it in the break pan

Finished product.

Elijah and his little friend with their matching aprons...super cute.
When we came home we made pp&j sandwiches with the bread. They were so delicious.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mt St. Pellerin

One of the best parts of homeschooling is that you can really customize your kids learning. I am pretty much "stick the curriculum" type of homeschool mom for the most part. But when one of the kids shows a particular interest in something it's great to just foster that learning. Elijah has been very into volcanoes and lava. He has asked me so many interesting questions that I didn't know know the answers to. So even though it's not part of anything we're studying in school at this time, we took a detour today. As an added bonus yesterday we went to Mardens and they had tons of children's books. We looked for about 10 minuets for a volcano book but couldn't find one. But as we were headed to the check out Elijah spotted one on an end cap. It was great and had fabulous pictures. So here's some pictures of our own Mt St. Pellerin! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to watch the video!

The volcano was made from an empty bottle, and covered with play dough. The kids added some plastic trees and dinosaurs.
The lave flowed everywhere!

We made it erupt at lest 6 times and each time the same reaction "woah cool"
We also made lava "lamps" water, oil, food coloring and salt. 3 inches of water, 1/4 cup veg. oil and a couple drops of food coloring. Wait for it all to settle and then add some salt.
Check out the video!

So here is the actual "eruption"Their reaction is priceless!